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News/Business. Live news coverage, breaking news and current news events with host Thomas Roberts. New.

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Us 15, Hagel 9, Wayne Lapierre 7, Chuck Hagel 7, Mccain 5, John Mccain 4, America 4, Ron Barber 3, Sandy 3, Benghazi 3, Jackie 3, United States 3, U.s. 3, Obama 3, Jason 2, John 2, Nissan Altima 2, Gabby Giffords 2, Geico 2, John Feehery 2,
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  MSNBC    MSNBC Live    News/Business. Live news coverage, breaking news  
   and current news events with host Thomas Roberts. New.  

    February 15, 2013
    11:00 - 12:00pm EST  

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recess. >> it's just unfortunate that this kind of politics intruds at a time when i'm when i need a secretary of defense to make sure that the americans are getting the strategy that they deserve. >> john mccain offered this in to the pushback that the nominee is getting from within the gop ranks itself. >> there's a lot of ill will towards senator hagel because when he was a republican, he attacked president bush mercilessly which anti-his own party and people. >> we don't have a secretary of defense in place and we're not going to because of a seven year
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old political grudge. >> joining me now is diane black. representative, great to see you. >> it's great to be with you. thank you for having me today. >> you bet. >> the president is about to honor six women who died at sandy hook and talking about gun legislation, the president said in the state of the union they deserve a vote. what do you think to the representatives who have made the same call? >> i want to say i cannot imagine being in the situation of the terrible losses that happened there at sandy hook and my heart goes out to all of the family members and that entire community. first of all, the president has not put a plan on the table and neither has the senate. but there are all kinds of solutions that the president is talking about. we have to talk about mental health. we have to talk about the people
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who use guns in crimes are really penalized to the highest standard that we can penalize them. the unprecedented amount of violence that the young people are seeing, these are issues that we need to talk about to make sure that when we do what we do we're truly representing the issue. >> what would you say to those family members that whatever bubbles to the top, all of the bipartisan efforts being made on both houses, would you say, yes, take a vote? >> first of all, i want to see what we're taking a vote on. that is yet to be seen. >> you would suggest to the speaker not to bring it to the floor if it's what you don't like? >> well, i'm going to say what i do and don't like. i'm not going to suggest to the speaker that he brings something to the floor or not. but as a person i'm going to say whether i think that's reasonable that it really
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addresses the problem i think we've got to address the issue fully. >> wayne lapierre accused president obama of using newtown as basically political leverage. do you agree with his belief here in. >> i do get disappointed when the president marches out children and uses children in this situation. i don't want to scare -- look, i have six grandchildren. i'm not going to scare my grandchildren by talking about this topic. i don't think that this is the right thing to do. those children are not at an age where they can understand the full -- >> how is the president scaring people by having children and using children, as you're saying, that are already involved in this very tragedy that we're talking about? >> the president did a press conference. he did a meeting with children right after this incident, which really very much turned me off.
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i would not have wanted my grandchildren to be in that room where we were talking about guns. you know, maybe because i'm 62 years old and i have grandchildren, i feel like i want to talk to the grandchildren about issues that they can understand, about safety. and there are some safety measures that you can talk to your children and grandchildren about that don't necessarily mean that you have to scare them about what happened at sandy hook. >> so you can very much understand that, based on your family background and what you've described just now, their parents did let them participate in this. >> and that's the parents' decision. if it were my children or grandchildren, i would not have wanted them in the room. i would want to go on to healing the children, to not having this brought up, not having children be scared when they go to school that this is going to happen to them. i think counselors, people who understand mental health are the ones that need to be dealing with those children and not bringing this up in a way or a manner that would scare these children. i don't think it's age appropriate. >> i know you're running between votes, congresswoman, and you've
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got to go very shortly. if i can squeeze one in here, the op-ed that we're both familiar with, he said critics ask whether racial overtones were made when he said latino gangs and south brooklyn shootings and social leppers and extremists. you and i both know that's not the way people see gun purchasers. folks that have been looking at this say, this may not be the right person to deliver the message. would you have words of suggestion to wayne lapierre about how to better communicate his ideas? >> i don't exactly say that everything that wayne lapierre says is the way that i would say it. again, i want to go back to diane black and the way i believe that we should be handling this situation and i'm a policy wonk and i believe any time you're addressed with a problem, you have a challenge that you've got to put everything on the table and look at it.
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mental health which we know bore a case in the tragedies that happened over the last year we know that violence and the unprecedented amount of violence that the young people are seeing, if we look at what is common about them, mental illness, they played violent games, listened to violent music, you cannot discount in the conversation about what we need to do to make sure that we keep people safe and especially our children. >> there are elements of a common ground. thank you for your time. >> thank you for having me. >> you bet. coming up, i'll speak with john barber. again, we're waiting on the white house where in just minutes the president will award postumous awards and we'll carry is live. let's bring in our friday political power panel. we have jack see kucinich,
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chris, john feary. jackie, we'll start here. the president making news yesterday when he said this during the google hangout fireside chat. >> happy valentine's day. >> okay. that is not the right piece of sound. here it is. take a look. >> i don't think we should ban handguns but keep in mind what we're trying to do is come up with a package but also makes a reasonable difference in reducing violence. >> he said that he does not support banning handguns so the question here is, is that enough to play indicate diane black, a republican representative? >> i think what you see going through the senate, this is
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going to start in the senate. whatever is done is likely going to start in the senate and you see the senate judiciary working on background checks. and on the house side you have the president doing narrowing it and not a lot has been done on an issue despite the number of incidents that have happened. so he's looking at what can get through. >> john, let's listen to more of the nra wayne lapierre and his speech last night. >> a year ago i began to warn american gun owners all over this country that if re-elected president obama would set about dismantling the second amendment to our constitution of the united states.
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no more elections to worry about. the president would wait for the right political opportunity to exploit and launch the most aggressive campaign in history to destroy our second amendment rights. >> so john, based on what was said earlier, we played a bit of what the president had said during the google hangout. does that help to mitigate lapierre or other's concern about gun legislation, as was just expressed there? >> i doubt it. i think wayne lapierre has a job that he's doing, which is kind of increase his membership, represent his members and aggressively put forth the idea that nothing really serious should happen on gun control. i think he's kind of -- i don't think wayne lapierre has done a particularly good job i think a better spokesman for the national rifle association would
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be david keene, a political guy that communicates in a way that doesn't scare people. i think wayne lapierre is more ways than one is trying to scare people. >> david -- john, to you on this. david keene, how would he change that narrative, that emotion that's been brought up so far, the fear, now, diane black is saying that the president is trying to use fear here? >> i think there's a lot of problems on both sides. you know, what's happening in the senate and the house, you have members on both sides of the aisle like diane black very concerned about how do you protect these children? how do you make sure this doesn't happen again? an assault weapons ban is not going to accomplish that goal. what can happen? universal background checks? can you actually deal with gun trafficking? can you go after violent gangs who have guns? these are things that legislators are looking at. >> okay.
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thanks. i'd like our panel to stand by. we're still waiting again for the awards ceremony at the white house. our panel will be back with us right after the break. so stay with us right here on msnbc, the place for politics. . new single serve cafe collections from maxwell house now available for use in the keurig k-cup brewer. always good to the last drop. now available for use in the keurig k-cup brewer. meet the 5-passenger ford c-max hybrid. when you're carrying a lot of weight, c-max has a nice little trait, you see, c-max helps you load your freight, with its foot-activated lift gate. but that's not all you'll see, cause c-max also beats prius v, with better mpg. say hi to the all-new 47 combined mpg c-max hybrid.
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house. just in minutes we are expect being the president to award medals to the six women posthumously who died in the sandy hook elementary shooting. we also have our friday political power panel still with us. when we do see the recipients walk in, at that moment we understand that in two minutes the president will walk out after that. let's bring back jackie kucinich as well as chris and john
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feehery. chris, this could be a very emotional ceremony. wayne lapierres has accused the president in the past and in his recent statements of playing politics with newtown and perhaps events like this. but when you think about it it, doesn't the president need to use and understand all of the events that are around? he was voted in by a majority to be the president of the united states and therefore he he should be leveraging that which is given to him to achieve the goals that the electorate wanted him to achieve. hasn't he already tried the high road with congress already? >> from my perspective it's not whether you're playing the high road or low road. the fact is you had teachers and students slaughtered at a school. there are a lot of ideas in terms of how to best do that. we have a serious gun violence problem in this country. so for the president of the
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united states to go out there and highlight this fact and then for mr. lapierre and other republicans to say that he's playing politics, i'm, is he stating the fact. this is a serious problem that he has to address. i'm not saying that politically it's easy. i know it's not. >> it's a fine line. >> clearly something has to be done. >> so what's your thought here, chris? what's the line where the president could go perhaps too far through this process? >> well, legislatively i think you confront just a brutal, political reality in terms of what you can get done. i think the assault weapons ban is going to be very difficult to pass through and that's just stating the political facts. that being said, criminal background checks, increasing penalties, that i think has some real potential of passing and will have an impact. will it solve the problem completely? no, it will not. but what you have in terms of
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other side is the nra and a fill loss stee strategy to fight against any, any changes in gun laws, even the ones that ironically they supported years ago. so i think the president has a bit of momentum here in terms of getting something done but i don't suggest that it's going to be easy. >> again, we're waiting for the award ceremony on the left side of the screen. it's a citizens medal established back in 1969 by executive order. i want to go to jackie. another issue that is certainly a hot topic there in washington, d.c., and that is chuck hagel's confirmation. senator mccain's comments basically said yesterday's vote was personal. is this about personal vendettas or is it between the senators or is this about going after the president? >> it -- there are some hurt feelings. there are some very deeply rooted issues here between hagel
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and republican senators. john mccain and hagel used to be very close and now they are no longer. part of it is personal and others are sending a message. others want to get more leverage to get more information about the attacks in benghazi. so there are a lot of moving parts here. i think at the end of the day hagel is going to be confirmed but these delay tactics are something that republicans are using to either send a message or get more information that they've been looking for. >> on that note then, to you, john, no matter what it is, there's a list of inputs to this delay as jackie was just describing to us but if it is what john mccain is saying, that he will eventually vote for hagel in this confirmation process, does this, then, play
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to the brand problem that gop has been dealing with and has been talked about, as you know so much, you've had to respond to t does it play to that because they are saying they are going to vote for him anyway, so why not do it now? >> i think what mccain and other senators are saying is they will vote for cloakture. i don't think that many people are paying attention. at the end of the day, if chuck hagel had knocked it out of the park during his confirmation hearings, but he bumbled and made mistake after mistake and made it easier for senators to say, let's look under the hood some more. let's see if this guy can do this job and in the meantime let's see if we can get more information out of the white house. so had mccain -- had hagel done a decent job during the confirmation hearings, i don't think they would have been successful in stopping this. but right now -- and ultimately i do think that he gets the nomination or gets approved, as jackie said. but i think that republicans
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want to look under the hood a little more and see what is there and see if they can get more information out of the white house. >> part of this, chris, josh reports that the president has expressed flashes of real anger, what he sees as a politically motivated gop fishing expedition that already netted his first choice for secretary of state, u.s. ambassador to the u.n. susan rice. that's what is written there. for the president, is this about taking care of an old friend or trying to make up for rice? >> actually, i think it's about choosing what he believes is the best person for the job and sticking by him, which i think is admirable. look, the reality here is this is about politics. this is not about benghazi. if it was about benghazi, you could have held up john kerry. they didn't. this is something that exists between republicans and senator hagel because he dared questioned them about the iraq
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war. so that i think is the are reality that we're facing. i think the problem with the republicans is, be how much longer can they continue to play these games on these issues and think it's not going to hurt them? in fact, it already has. they are becoming a caricature of a political party because when you admit to the american people it's not about substance, it's about a 7-year-old issue that you have a problem with, a personal issue, that doesn't necessarily create a lot of confidence that your criticisms are valid. >> chris kofinis, jackie kucinich, john feehery, stand by. we're talking about the citizens medal next. recognized as the highest civilian honor of our government. we'll be back in just a bit. ♪ you know my heart burns for you... ♪
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after everyone and dealing with people freaking out. >> some were sharing mattresses if they could find one that was not so clean that somebody had already tossed because they had been soiled and so they would stack up blankets and towels used to lay on that. they were amazing. they just smiled and sang and danced. they were awesome. >> good to be on land. high price for the crew of the ill-fated carnival cruise ship. this is the scene once the ship docked in mobile, alabama, after being stranded in the gulf of mexico since sunday. the carnival ceo went on board to personally apologize to them for the poor conditions during their trip, which included them being forced to relieve themselves in plastic bags. here's a look at some of the other stories topping the news now. south african double amputee oscar pistorius seen here crying during his first court appearance today, pistorius has
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been charged with the premeditated fatal shooting of his girlfriend in his home yesterday. in a statement he says the alleged murder is disputed in the strongest terms. he will remain in custody until his next court appearance on tuesday. take you to california, no more doubts that the charred remains in a burning cabin belonged to christopher dorner. the intense week-long manhunt for him after dorner killed four people. check out this video coming out of russia. a meteor hit the mountains and injured more than 1,000 people who were hit with broken glass and damaged several buildings in six cities. >> by my read of the solar system, this just happens to be a coincidence. you would see many more of these between now and when that big one comes by. >> those are assurances from
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astro physicist about the asteroid set to whiz by earth today at 2:25 eastern. the asteroid, named 2012 da-14 will be 17,000 miles away when it passes and then fade into the galaxy. by the way, that's closer than where satellites orbit. also, we're keeping an eye on the white house. president obama expected shortly. he'll present the medal to 18 americans, six of them victims at the newtown shooting. as soon as we see the president, we'll get you straight to it. we'll be right back. push-ups or sprints? what's wrong with fetch? or chase? let's do this larry! ooh, i got it, i got it! (narrator) the calorie-smart nutrition in beneful healthy weight... includes grains and real chicken, because a healthy dog is a playful dog.
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this reduced sodium soup says it may help lower cholesterol, how does it work? you just have to eat it as part of your heart healthy diet. step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. is efficiently absorbed in small continuous amounts. citracal slow release continuously releases calcium plus d with efficient absorption in one daily dose. citracal slow release. live at the white house, we are seeing -- we're just seeing the finish of those who will be receiving the presidential citizens medal at the white house. president obama will come in shortly. six of those 18 awards will be accepted by the families of six
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victims who lost their lives at newtown. the president is expected to speak for about 15 or 20 minutes. this, after giving out the awards, that should begin very shortly. again, as they introduce all of those who are going to be honored. this award first established in 1969. this year, the president selected 18 outstanding americans out of 6,000 submissions from the public. each winner is called and told that the president has personally selected them to receive this medal. it's recognized as the second highest civilian honor of the u.s. government. that is expected to start very, very soon. the six individuals that will receiving that award, again, lost their lives at newtown. they are now introducing the
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president. he will be coming to the podium very, very shortly. expected to address not only this presidential award but then perhaps some remarks on gun legislation, newtown, and what it means for the country. here is the president of the united states. >> thank you very much, everybody. please, please have a seat. well, it is a pleasure to welcome some of our nation's finest citizens here to the people's house and let me be the first to congratulate each of you and your family members for the receipt of the highest honor a civilian can receive, the citizens medal. we host a lot of events at the white house, but i have to admit, this is one of my favorites because a moment when as a people we get to recognize some extraordinary men and women
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who have gone above and beyond for their country and for their fellow citizens, often without fanfare, often with not a lot of attention. very rarely for any profit. you do it because it's the right thing to do, because you want to give back. and today we honor you. we celebrate you and, most of all, we have a chance to say thank you because all of us are what the rest of us aspire to be. you know, in america, we have the benefit of living in this big and diverse nation. we're home to 315 million people who come from every background, who worship every faith, who hold every single point of view. but what binds us together, what unites us is a single sacred word, citizen. it's a word that, as i said in
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my state of the union address, doesn't just describe our nationality, or our legal status, the fact that we hold a passport, it defines our way of life. it captures our belief in something bigger than ourselves. our willingen to accept certain obligations to one another and to embrace that we're in all of this, that to many we are one. it's one that was noticed about america when he came to visit, these folks participate. they get involved. they have a point of view. they don't just wait for somebody else to do something. they go out there and do it and join and become part of groups and mobilize and organize. that's who we are. that's in our dna. that's what it means to be a citizen of the united states of america. you know, we've all got busy lives. we've got bills to pay. we've got kids to car pool,
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errands to get done and in the midst of running around, it would be easy and understandable for folks to just focus on themselves, to worry about our own lives, to look down the street and see a neighbor in need and say, i'd like to help but i've got problems of my own. to look across town at a community that's in despair and say that's too big of a challenge for us to take on, that's not who we are. that's not what we do. that's not what built this country. in this country we look out for one another. we get each other's backs, especially in times of hardship or challenge. that's part of the reason why applications to americorps is at an all-time high.
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i know that makes harris proud to hear. the reason it's such a privilege for me to share the stage with him and all of the others who are participating here today is because you've taken commitment to a whole new level. every day you're out there writing wrongs, healing hurts, changing lives. and when janice jackson was hit by a car at the age of 24, she was told by her doctors the only thing she would ever move again were her shoulders. after suffering an injury like that, nobody would have faulted janice for just focusing on herself but as she recovered and she regained her strength, she revolved to give that strength to others in need. janice said that from a wheelchair i decided to devote my life to women with disabilities, to tell them that even though you have limitations, you also have abilities and every day through
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her mentorship and through her advocacy, that's exactly what she's doing. when adam burke returned from iraq, he had earned the right to just focus on himself, he received the purple heart for wounds he received while rescuing a comrade from enemy fire. because of that attack, because of the shrapnel that tore through his head and neck, he came home a wounded warrior, suffering from traumatic brain injury, posttraumatic stress disorder. but a few years later adam found himself on the family farm and noticed that it was therapeutic, coordination improved, he was able to put aside his cane. so decided to use farming to help other veterans with similar injuries receive similar benefits. and by starting veterans farm, he's doing that every day. when jeanne manford learned that
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her son marty had been badly beaten up at a gay rights demonstration, nobody would have faulted her for bringing him home, holding him close, just focusing on her child. this was back in 1972. there was a lot of hate towards gays and lesbians and anyone who supported them. but instead she wrote to the local newspaper and took to the streets with a simple message. no matter who her son was, no matter who he loved, she loved him and wouldn't put up with this kind of nonsense. and she inspired a movement and gave way to a national organization that has given so much support to family and friends and helped to change this country. we lost jeanne last month but her legacy carries on every day in the countless lives that she touched.
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and then when dawn hochsprung and mary sherlach, vicki soto, lauren rousseau, rachel davino, anne marie murphy showed up for work at sandy hook on december 14th of last year, they expected a day like any other, doing what was right for their kids, spent a chilly morning welcoming young students, they had no idea that evil was about to strike. and when it did, they could have taken shelter by themselves. they could have focus canned on their own safety, on their own well-being, but they didn't. they gave their lives to protect the precious children in their care. they gave all they had for the most innocent and helpless among us. and that's what we honor today. the courageous heart, the selfless spirit, the inspiring actions of extraordinary
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americans, extraordinary citizens. we are a nation of 315 million people. out of all of these folks, around 6,000 were nominated for this medal and today, you're the ones receiving it. not just for what you do but for what you represent for the shining example that you set every single day and the inspiration that you give each of us as fellow citizens, including your president. so congratulations to the recipients and now i would like our military aide to read the citations. >> the presidential citizens medal recipients -- >> okay. president obama just finishing remarks there. at one moment you saw two or three minutes ago as he was mentioning the victims of sandy hook elementary school, wiping away a tear and giving a couple
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examples of the other 12 that are receiving this award, this award that recognizes u.s. citizens who have performed examplary deeds outside of their jobs. he will shake the hands of each of the citizens. he personally chose them, as was just said, out of 6,000 award recipients. the six adults who died in the newtown shooting, the representatives of those who died, then he will head to chicago to push for proposals outlined in the state of the union address, including gun control. joining me now is ron barber of arizona. he was wounded alongside congresswoman gabby giffords in the 2011 shooting and later won
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a special election for her seat and was re-elected last year. congressman, thanks for being with us. i just mentioned the president at one moment there tearing up, just discussing -- just actually listing their names, still very personal for him. >> yes. and it is i think for millions of americans. as a grandfather i remember two days after the shooting looking at a photograph in the newspaper of one of the children who was killed and i looked at that photograph and i saw the image of my grandchildren looking back at me, the same age of the child that was killed. and quite frankly, i broke down and sobbed myself. my wife came in and asked me what was wrong and i looked at this photograph and we held each other for a long time. this is a deeply emotional issue for the american people and that's why i hope we will finally be in a position to get something done to reduce the incidents of mass violence and tragedies in our country.
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>> as has been said so eloquently by you and others, this is a nonpartisan issue. the president again just a moment ago wiping away it appears another tear. this could be a very emotional award ceremony for the president as he goes through again he must meet some of the representatives of the victims of newtown. how does the president, as he moves towards gun legislation, how does he translate this emotion that's felt by just about every american across the country into what he asked for during the state of the union and that is is just a vote on the floor? >> well, i think the president has provided some leadership on this and also so have others. i met two weeks ago with some of the parents of the children who were killed in newtown. it was, again, a very emotional experience for those of us on the congressional task force to prevent gun violence, of which i'm one of the vice chairs.
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we tried together with those parents. we understood their loss. we heard from one father how his son would come running up to him when he got home and jump into his arms and say, daddy, daddy, daddy. no longer is this going to happen. this has touched all of our hearts and i think the president is trying to remind us of a loss that every pasht, grand parent, every citizen has with those families. i asked those parents to summarize if they could the emotional courage to go and tell their story to my colleagues in congress. this has to be a bipartisan solution. i believe we will find ways to get this issue under control and i'm certainly working on it myself with a bill i've introduced on mental health and other issues i think we can actually make some movement on. i see already that there is bipartisan movement. in fact, the bill i introduced has a republican co-sponsor. we have to move forward on this
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as a nation. not as people representing a party, one or the other. >> you cannot but feel the emotional impetus behind what you're just saying. it appeared a family member of one of the victims crying and trembling as she stood there to receive the award from the president. with yet you are hearing some criticisms that some events such as these are perhaps really using political leverage by the president. and how do you respond to that when you hear those sorts of responses to what's being done right now by the president? >> i really think that that's an unfortunate, unnecessary ill-advised criticism. sandy hook happened. tucson happened. aurora happened. and from my own experience of surviving the shooting in tucson, i know what my family went through and i survived.
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this is deeply personal with me and with many people. so i think it's important that we remind people in america that this is not just a terrible tragedy but there are names and families behind the tragedy and what they are going through. i thought back on last december about the unopened presents under the christmas tree for those children. i think every american feels deep sorrow and i think it's right to tell the story, as i suggested to the family of newtown, tell your story to my colleagues and that i believe will help us move forward. we can't just brush this aside and call it political. it isn't. it's about the humanity and moving forward. >> part of the humanity is someone that you know well, gabby giffords. whenever you see her in the capitol, it is an emotional event. she had a busy week. her super pac released her first ad. she was there for the state of the union.
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she and mark appeared in "vogue "vogue" magazine. what do you think about the effort to push forward for a bipartisan bill on gun legislation? >> well, her work is a continuation of the work that she did as a state legislator and before that as a member of countless community boards and as a member of congress. and you may recall that when she gave her resignation speech by video to her constituents, she said, i will be back to do what i can do and she is back to continue her public service. i know that's how the congresswoman approaches everything she's done and it's just a continuation of that and one that she understands very deeply and personally as do i. >> congressman ron barber along with us here on msnbc as we
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watch a bittersweet award ceremony on the left-hand part of your screen here. again, six awards given to the families, representatives of victims of newtown as well as 12 others receiving the presidential citizens medal. what the president called the highest civilian honor of the government. again, ron barber, thank you. mark kelly will be one of the david gregory's guests this sunday on "meet the press". why republicans put the nomination of chuck hagel on hold. i'll ask a senator wicker why. [ female announcer ] today, jason is here
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>> democrats say they're still confident that chuck hagel will be confirmed despite the block from senate republicans yesterday. the senate was two votes shy of the 60 needed to push the nomination to a final vote. president obama blasted republicans for the way it was handled. >> the republican minority in the senate seemed to think that the rule now is that you have to have 60 votes for everything. well, that's not the rule. >> joining us now republican senator. senator, thanks for being with us. now, you voted no setting a history-making precedent, as you know. why did you do that? >> first of all, let me ask you about the tease before the break. grudge match. this doesn't have anything to do with a grudge. this has something to do with picking the best person to be the leader of the largest defense organization m world. >> it is the largest with half a
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million employees. senator john mccain is why we brought that up, senator. he suggested yesterday that the hagel block runs deeper and he actually was bringing up the past, and we can play a bit of that sound. why don't we? >> there's a lot of ill will towards senator hagel because when he was a republican he attacked president bush mercilessly and at one point said he was the worst president since herbert hoover, said that the surge was the worst blunder since the vietnam war, which is nonsense, and was very anti his own party and people. people don't forget that. >> you may not agree with what senator mccain said there, but that's basically what appears to be a grudge match, and that's why we said grudge match with a question mark. when you listen to senator mccain, is he wrong? do you agree with him? >> well, actually, i agree with senator mccain that chuck hagel is not the right guy.
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i also agree with the washington post who said around the first of the year mr. president, don't pick chuck hagel. he is not the right guy for d.o.d. he is well to the left of the policies of the obama administration during the first four years. so basically here's the problem. there has been a bipartisan mainstream support for national security, for our middle east policy dating back to 1978 with jimmy carter for israel, for our approach to iran, and chuck hagel has made a career out of being outside of that mainstream. engaging in hyperbole and all sorts of edgy statements. now we're to believe that he is part of the great mainstream. i just don't believe that.
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we're saying we need more time for information. it's not right to report the candidate on tuesday, file cloture the next day and say somehow we have to close this thing out two days after the report. >> which is didn't didn't -- >> we had found other speeches the other day that had not been disclosed. >> which is consistent with republicans' request to put the vote on hold is what you are saying earlier on. >> you had laid out your thinking fairly quickly in an op ed in politico. you brought up that his stance were left of president obama's. now, isn't it president obama, though, as commander in chief who will ultimately make the decision, though? >> actually, the secretary of defense has always been a chief policy maker.
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now, he tried to explain some of his statements away saying he would not be involved in making policy decision. that is a fantastic statement. that's an unbelievably naive statement for somebody who might be the next secretary of the department of defense. of course, he is a policymaker. of course, what he believes and what his judgment stands for means a lot. >> i apologize we couldn't speak longer. we had the live event at the white house. we'll get you next time. >> great. we'll do that. thank you so much. >> thank you, sir. that wraps up things for me. have a great weekend. thomas will be back on monday. "now with alex wagner" is up next. stick around. is in the eye of the beholder. well...behold. behold water so blue it merges with the sky above. behold natural beauty above the sea, and far below. behold smiles so wide
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